Before taking the abortion pill, it’s important to know the risks. Some can be quite serious: incomplete abortion, heavy bleeding, infection, fever, and septic shock.

As with any medical decision, you deserve the facts before choosing what’s best for you. Keep reading to learn more about the risks of the abortion pill.

What is the Abortion Pill?

Before discussing risks, it’s essential to understand how the abortion pill works.

Also called medical abortion, the abortion “pill” comprises two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone first ends the pregnancy by blocking progesterone.

Misoprostol is taken 1-2 days later and expels the pregnancy tissue through bleeding, cramping, and contractions. Because the process can be very painful and involves heavy bleeding, it is suggested  that the Misoprostol be taken at home. 

The abortion pill is only available to women during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. You will not be eligible for the abortion pill if you are further along.

What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Heavy Bleeding

Bleeding is part of the process of medical abortion, but if you bleed enough to soak through two thick sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Prolonged heavy bleeding may indicate that the abortion was incomplete and would require immediate medical care.  In the event of excessive vaginal bleeding, a surgical procedure may be needed to terminate the pregnancy.


If you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher for more than 4 hours in the days following the abortion, seek medical attention right away. Fever can be a symptom of a serious infection or other complication.


Infection can occur as a result of an incomplete abortion. Severe stomach pain, fever, pelvic tenderness, weakness, nausea, an abnormally fast heartbeat, and other symptoms can indicate an infection, and you should seek medical care immediately if these symptoms persist.

Septic Shock

Septic Shock is a medical emergency. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical help right away:

  • Very high or very low body temperature
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Cool, pale arms and legs
  • Feelings of confusion, restlessness, and fatigue
  • Shaking with chills
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing
  • Inability to urinate
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Difficult, rapid breathing with shortness of breath

Before Taking the Abortion Pill

Before taking the abortion pill, it’s important to know exactly how far along you are. Taking the abortion pill too late in pregnancy can lead to an incomplete abortion and can threaten your health.

You also need to know if the pregnancy is viable. Sometimes, the embryo implants outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. This is called an ectopic pregnancy, and it is nonviable. If untreated, it can be a very serious risk to your health.  

Confirming that your pregnancy is viable and exactly how far along you are, as well as discovering if you may have already miscarried, are all important things to learn before you take the abortion pill. At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we’re not an abortion provider and do not prescribe the abortion pill, but we will provide you with a no-cost ultrasound to date and confirm a viable pregnancy along with the information you need to make a fully informed decision about your pregnancy and your health.

Contact us to schedule your no-cost ultrasound and consultation today.